Joe Biden Has Been Deemed President-Elect
A spate of Saturday calls by major media will compel the end of the Trump presidency.
WASHINGTON– Joe Biden, the former vice president, was elected president of the United States on Saturday, the Associated Press, the New York Times and critically, conservative organs the Wall Street Journal, Fox News and National Review report.
“America, I’m honored that you have chosen me to lead our great country,” Biden wrote on Twitter. “The work ahead of us will be hard, but I promise you this: I will be a President for all Americans — whether you voted for me or not. I will keep the faith that you have placed in me.” Biden’s statement comes hours after a Friday night presser where he stopped just shy of proclaiming total victory.
President Donald Trump has not conceded. And key figures throughout the Republican apparatus have been vowing to fight any such call for days, contending but not proving there was widespread voter fraud based in large Democrat-run cities, including Milwaukee, Detroit, Atlanta and crucially, Philadelphia. It is unclear if Trump will ever concede, but key fixtures of the state within his own party, including Attorney General Bill Barr, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, have declined to back him in extremity.
Trump was broadly rebuked by leading alumni of the U.S. military establishment over the summer, including his own former chief of staff, John Kelly, and defense secretary, James Mattis. Trump has proved as president that the military leadership is hardly his friend, and accordingly, looks clear to be forced from office, if it comes to that. My sources around the president indicate that it will not come to that, with in some cases, certain of his acolytes more zealous to continue this fight than he is.
Regardless, it is poised to be the most fractious transfer of power in U.S. history since before the Civil War, when the election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860 spurred a secession crisis. Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader and now the most powerful Republican in Washington, signaled this week that the states will lead their own votes, and the federal government shall not intervene. Combined with Barr’s inaction, the avenues for Trump to intervene further appear to be all but closed. Litigation initiated in the courts could well be tossed as frivolous before ever reaching the Supreme Court, as had been previously forecasted (and feared) leading up to election day.
Biden is to be sworn in on January 20. He leads a Democratic Party that came to him late, with former President Barack Obama cool on his ascent for much of the primary campaign, and with the party flirting with flashier progressives such Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. A daredevil, quickly doomed run by former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg briefly threatened to crowd him in the establishment lane.
Biden’s centrist triumph in the primaries was followed up by a move left during the COVID-19 pandemic and the summer of Black Lives Matter, ignited by the police killing of George Floyd and lockdown unrest. Biden has denounced the violence seen in major American cities, but the precedent of disorder in the street having helped compel an incumbent U.S. president from office will be disquieting to many for years to come. The dealmaker, consensus-oriented Biden will have his work cut out for him in governing facets of the American right, which see him as illegitimate — just as many on the left treated Trump. But the calls by the Journal and Fox News on Saturday demonstrate that Trump has lost his mandate within the conservative establishment and from the media organs he himself pays closest attention to.
Yet, the election results were hardly the intense repudiation of Trump that was widely forecasted. Republicans are likely to hold the Senate (that’s now up to run-off elections in Georgia) and actually gained in the House of Representatives. Biden will, however, be a clear popular vote winner, with perhaps the biggest margin, over five percent, since he and Barack Obama were elected in 2008.
The fact that the votes were so close in critical swing states, namely Wisconsin, Michigan, Georgia, Arizona, Nevada and Pennsylvania, shows that Biden’s command of the U.S. political system is only partial. His failure to win a broader mandate was disturbing for some on the left. McConnell’s team, behind closed doors, indicated they would powerfully shape and moderate the composition of Biden’s cabinet, thrilling the markets. The majority leader said in public he was pleased his party had quite possibly held the upper chamber, and said he was relieved his party had stopped the bleeding on embarrassing demographic losses: namely, with women, college graduates and crucially, minorities.
A presidency overwhelmed with charges of racism will end with Trump and his party performing strongest with minorities of any Republican presidential ticket since the enactment of Civil Rights. Leading Republicans called for the continuation of a possible political realignment.
“We are a working class party now. That’s the future,” Sen. Josh Hawley said this week.